For Mom or Prom: best deals from local florists

May 1, 2014

"Shop around, especially on Mother's Day, when florists seem to jack their prices up, double or even triple, for things like roses," advises Kevin Brasler, Executive Editor of the Delaware Valley Consumers' Checkbook.

Checkbook found prices for a dozen long-stemmed roses ranged from a low around $30 to a high around $90.

And there's not a correlation between price and quality. Brasler says, "You would think that the saying goes that 'you get what you pay for,' but with florists, or with anything else that Checkbook looks at, we find that's not the case. You can get great quality products and service from companies that charge low prices. In fact, we find that companies that charge really high prices, their customers are less likely to be satisfied than customers that are charged low prices."

Brasler says most floral retailers -- including supermarkets, places like Produce Junction, and even street vendors -- get their flowers from the same wholesale markets, so for a simple bouquet, you might not need a florist at all.

He says, "Think about shopping at the supermarket. We found prices at the supermarkets, just on average, averaged about 55% lower than at florists, a lot less than shopping at a retail florist."

A street vendor could save you about 70% -- but buyer beware.

"If you're buying from a street vendor, they're not going to have the refrigeration that you would have a traditional retail florist or even a supermarket, so buy early in the day," Brasler says, adding, "Make sure they're fresh. If you're buying roses, the buds should be tight. They shouldn't have opened already. There shouldn't be blemishes all over the place. They should smell like flowers."

Finally, a warning about online floral sites that try to look local, but aren't.

"There have been a lot of complaints about these businesses in terms of not delivering what they said they're going to deliver, or delivering late, and delivering lousy flowers."

Through special arrangement with nonprofit Delaware Valley Consumers' CHECKBOOK, 6ABC viewers can access CHECKBOOK's customer service ratings of Delaware Valley florist shops without a subscription until Monday May 12, 2014, and can view CHECKBOOK's advice indefinitely by clicking here.

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